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It’s December — prime hosting time! Are you ready? Do you have your decorations? Your tableware polished? Do you have enough seating? Do you have a nice table or, if you’re not happy with your dining table, at least a nice tablecloth to cover your it? 

 

There are so many considerations to take into account when hosting an elegant dinner party. At Smitty’s, we completely understand how important it is to make your guests feel comfortable in your home — and we know how tricky it can be to create an atmosphere of elegance. 

 

To help navigate you this busy season, our team has put together some tips to get started with your party-planning, including decor suggestions, some elegant recipes, and a list of some of our favourite furniture pieces for your holiday wish list:

 

Decor Tips for An Elegant Dinner Party

 

 

Elegance is not as difficult to achieve as it may seem, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few tips that will help you get the perfect holiday look:

 

Use nature to decorate your table, mantle, countertop, and bathroom.

Clip (or purchase) cedar or pine branches and mix them with cut flowers, strands of berries, or decorative snowflakes. Place them as a centrepiece on your dining table, across your mantle or kitchen counter, and in a large vase in your bathroom. 

 

Don’t be afraid to go big on the natural decor — it will make an elegant statement. You can also add sprigs and cranberry strands to your napkins or along the centre of each guest’s place setting (see image above).

 
Place votives along the centre of your dining table.

Nothing says elegance like candlelight. Adding shiny gold and silver votives with tea lights along the centre of your dining table, or around your centrepiece, will make your dining area look beautiful. 

 

Make sure you don’t skimp out on the number of votives — we recommend 6-10 for a typical dining table. Ensure that people won’t have to reach over them and that they are placed a safe distance away from napkins, decorations, or other flammable materials.

 

Enhance your place setting.

If you want your table to look elegant and welcoming, make sure you place all the required flatware and dishes at each place setting. 

 

Lay out your cutlery appropriately on each side of the plate setiings and across the top, and include salad forks, dessert forks, and dessert spoons. Ensure you place both water glasses and wine glasses at each setting — and include a champagne glass if you are toasting with some bubbly. 

 

For an added touch of elegance, consider adding a charger plate under all your plates. A charger plate is essentially an oversized plate that isn’t used for plating food, but acts as a decorative item. Available in a wide range of colours, you can find a charger that will match your decor.

 

Elegant Recipes for Your Dinner Party

 

 

While not everyone is a Michelin-starred chef, we know that you want your dishes to look spectacular for your guests.

 

Here are a couple of recipes that look incredible and aren’t too tricky to pull off:

 
Seared Scallops with Brown Butter and Lemon Pan Sauce

(Recipe Credit: Epicurious.com)

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lemons
  • Small handful of chives
  • 12 large dry sea scallops
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers

STEP 1

Cut 2 lemons in half and squeeze juice into a measuring glass or small bowl. You should have 1/4 cup juice. Set aside. Using a paring knife, cut ends off remaining lemon to expose flesh. Upend lemon on a cut end and remove peel and white pith from lemons, then discard. Cut between membranes to release segments into bowl with juice, squeeze membranes to get any last drops of juice. Fish out any seeds and set aside. Thinly slice chives and place in a small bowl, then set aside.

 

STEP 2

Pull side muscle off scallops, if needed pat dry. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet, preferably stainless steel, over medium-high. Pour in oil to lightly coat surface (2–3 Tbsp), heat until it shimmers and you see first wisps of smoke. Swiftly place scallops into skillet, flat side down, and cook without touching, tossing, or fussing until underside is a deep golden brown (3-4 minutes). Use a thin spatula or tongs to gently turn over. If they resist, cook another 30 seconds and try again. Cook on second side until flesh at top and bottom looks opaque, but there is still a faintly translucent strip in the middle (1–2 minutes, depending on size). Transfer scallops to a plate.

 

STEP 3 

Pour off any oil in skillet and set over medium heat. Add butter and cook, swirling, until butter foams, then browns, about 2 minutes. Add reserved lemon juice and segments; energetically stir and swirl pan to emulsify sauce. Mix in capers and reserved chives and spoon pan sauce around and over scallops.

 

Riesling Gelée with Strawberry Conserve

(Recipe Credit: Foodandwine.com)

 

 

INGREDIENTS

 

GELÉE

  • 1 1/2 cups off-dry Riesling
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

STRAWBERRY CONSERVE

  • 1 pint strawberries, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon off-dry Riesling

STEP 1

Make the gelée in a small saucepan. Combine the Riesling and sugar and bring to a low simmer over moderate heat, swirling gently until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

 

STEP 2  

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cooled syrup and let soften for 5 minutes. Warm the syrup over moderate heat and stir to dissolve the gelatin, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly. Pour the gelée into 4 wine glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

 

STEP 3 

In a small bowl, gently stir the strawberries with the honey, sugar, lemon zest, and Riesling. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

 

STEP 4    

Spoon the strawberry conserve over the gelée and serve.

 

Holiday Wish List

 

 

If you’ve been coveting new furniture for your home, then we have the perfect items for your wish list this year:

 

  1. Bermex Side Chairs
    These gorgeous wood and fabric chairs look stunning in any room.
     
  2. Amisco Upholstered Bed
    This contemporary bed frame and upholstered headboard will keep you cozy and look fabulous in your bedroom.
     
  3. Table Factory Coffee Table
    This live edge table is a showstopper and its solid wood design will last for decades.
     
  4. Ruffsawn Dresser
    Handcrafted with premium wood, this dresser is absolutely stunning — and practical!
     
  5. Durham Night Stands
    Designed with sustainably harvested wood, these night stands will bring elegance to your bedroom.
     

For more inspiration, decoration advice, and help getting your home ready to host, come and visit Smitty’s. We’ll help you get ready and scratch gifts off your wish list!

 

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Confucius says:

 “Every house guest brings you happiness. 

Some when they arrive, and some when they are leaving.”

 

The team at Smitty’s understands that our customers experience this sentiment in real life, and we aim to do everything we can to help make your hosting as easy and as comfortable as possible.

 

The number one thing you can do to help ease the stress of hosting is to be prepared! Don’t wait until the week your guests are due to arrive to ensure that you are properly set up. Start now.

 

Here are our experts’ top recommendations on how to get ready for the best holiday hosting experience possible:

 

1. Update Your Guest Room Mattress

(Kingsdown Mattress)

 

Everyone knows that a well-rested guest is a happy guest, so we recommend looking after that right away. 

 

No one wants their in-laws, friends, or family to wake up irritable because they have sore backs from sleeping on an old futon — or even worse, for their 80-year-old relative to wake up on the floor because their air mattress deflated during the night! (true story)

 

Kingsdown is known for their innovative mattresses that provide motion separation. This patented system allows for multi-zone pocket coils which isolate movement. This means that when one person rolls over or moves it does not disturb the other person. It’s genius!

 

(Serta icomfort mattress)

 

Serta is another excellent mattress brand. Known for their Comfort and Perfect Sleeper mattresses, they offer a variety of types of mattresses to choose from.

If you’re not sure which would be best for your home, the team at Smitty’s will help you make the right choice.

 

2. Get New Furniture & Area Rugs Now!

 

 

You may have a beautiful meal planned and lovely tabletop decor, but do you have a table to put it all on? Is your existing table going to comfortably accommodate all your guests?

 

Don’t split your guests apart by using different dining surfaces, or exclude the younger guests in a different room. Ensure that all your guests feel welcome at your table. If you place your order ASAP, you will be in good shape when your guests arrive.

 

(Bermex Live Edge Table)

 

Bermex is a quality brand focused on craftsmanship — and nearly every table and chair is fully customizable! This means that you can select the shape, size, colour, finish, and fabrics to match your interior decor.

 

At Smitty’s, we offer a wide variety of tables to accommodate larger groups (up to 14 people), so you will be able to find the perfect table and chairs for your home. Don’t worry — if you typically only need to fit four people at your table, you can conveniently tuck away the extra table leaves.

 

(Kalora Alaska area rug)

 

A really effective and simple way to update your space is with a new area rug. Kalora rugs are ideal to refresh your space, from dining rooms to bedrooms, adding an area rug will accent your space and provide additional comfort and design.

 

Available in a wide range of sizes, colours, and materials, Kalora rugs are a great choice. Our team can help you select the perfect rugs for your home.

 

3. Be Welcoming

 

Everyone likes to feel welcomed when they are a guest. No one likes to feel like an imposition. 

 

One quick and easy thing to do to make your friends and family feel special is to take a few minutes to write a short welcome card to place on the pillow on their bed — and don’t forget to add a few colourful throw cushions for extra fun!

 

Your note doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just write a few nice words from the heart and you will make your guests feel relaxed and right at home.

 

It’s always the little things that people remember.

 

For more helpful ideas on how you can prepare to be the ultimate host with the right furniture, visit us at Smitty’s. We’ve got you covered!

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It’s the time of year when many of us start preparing to host family and friends for holiday festivities. From Chanukah and Christmas to Kwanza and New Year’s, there’s lots to celebrate!

 

Sometimes we just don’t know where to begin — and that’s what makes the entryway the best place to start.

 

First impressions are made when people step into your home, so here are our top three ways to make your home welcoming:

 

Entryway Furniture

 

(Artage entryway table pictured above.)

 

Entryways can be both welcoming and functional. They are also high traffic areas that are highly visible and set the tone for the rest of your home.

 

From having a functional place to hang your coat or place your purse, to a place where you can showcase seasonal decor, the entryway is an important space in your home. It’s an ideal space for form to meet function.

 

Depending on your space, we suggest adding:

 

(Bermex BE54-1201 bench pictured above.)

  • A stylish bench.
    • This will not only look fantastic, but will provide a place for guests to sit when putting on and taking off their boots.
  • A sleek console table.
    • These slim tables are great for entryways, offering a place to drop your keys or display seasonal decor.
  • A helpful coat tree.
    • Coat trees are not only practical for holding coats and scarves, they are also an on-trend focal point in your entryway.

Mirrors

 

 

Mirrors are a great way to bring light and sparkle into a space, and an entryway is an ideal place for a mirror, as people tend to check their appearance when entering or leaving a house.

 

Mirrors come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colours. You can mix and match them on a wall, or even lean them up against one another on a shelf or on the floor. The options are virtually endless.

 

Depending on your space, you can add a single large mirror, or multiple smaller mirrors. Alternating design and shape is on-trend and will bring visual interest to your entryway. Mirrors can also be hung or placed on a shelf or table.

 

Try mixing and matching glass mirrors with chrome and brass mirrors. Combining these three elements will bring a sparkle to your entryway. There are no rules, so play around until you find the perfect arrangement.

 

Area Rugs

 

 

Area rugs are often forgotten, but they make up an integral part of your entryway’s aesthetic.

 

Stepping on the entryway rug is the first thing — and last thing — people will do when they come to your home.It is important to have a rug that can handle some wear and tear, while still looking fabulous.

 

Kalora rugs offer a stunning array of area rugs to suit any home. From wool, to jute, to synthetic fibres, they have it all.If you’re concerned about stains, consider a patterned rug — patterns are a great way to conceal potential dirt or stains.

 

Come into Smitty’s today and find the perfect additions to make your entryway welcoming and spectacular!

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Everyone wants their home to look its best when entertaining family and friends over the holidays.

 

At Smitty’s, we often get asked for our top tips when it comes to decorating homes for the holidays. To help you with this annual preparation, our interior decorating experts have put together a few of their top decorating tips:

 

#1. Add A Focal Piece of Furniture

Adding a new focal piece of furniture to your living room or dining room can make a big impact. You can easily transform the look and feel of a room by updating your sofa, dining table, or coffee table. By adding something new to your home, you will also refresh your space and create a ‘wow’ experience for your guests — even if they’ve been to your home before.

 

Adding statement furniture like a hutch, a sectional, or an oversized coffee table can make a big impact. Adding a console table or coffee table with a bold design is also an effective way to update your space in time for the holidays.

 

#2. Add Some Sparkle and Shine

Adding decorative items in glass, chrome, and bronze will give your home some gorgeous sparkle — the perfect elements to make your home shine over the holidays and throughout the winter season.

 

Try placing wall art, mirrors, vases, candle holders, and other shiny decorations throughout your home. These items can be used on coffee tables, side tables, dining tables, in hutches, or even on bathroom counters.

 

#3. Add Some Warmth

This is the perfect time to bring some warmth and coziness into your home — and this doesn’t mean adding a fireplace. There are many effective ways create warmth in your space.

 

Try adding throw cushions, throw blankets, or a new area rug. These changes can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your living room, dining room, or bedroom. Choosing leather furniture is also a great way to bring warmth and luxury into your home.

 

Visit us at Smitty’s and we’ll help you make your home into the cozy, warm, and inviting place you want it to be this season.

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Living room with examples of top holiday decor trends

Every year it feels like a new challenge. What do I need to prepare in my home to host the best holiday gathering ever? How can I be the ‘host with the most’?

 

There are a million considerations when getting your home ready to host friends and family for a special occasion. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to prioritize everything that you want to do, and need to do, before your doorbell rings.

 

At Smitty’s, we get a lot of questions from customers about what they can do to spruce up their homes for the holidays. Styles and trends change, but we’ve done some digging and are happy to let you know the top decor trends for this holiday season. We hope this helps!

 

Coat Trees

Coat hanger shaped like a tree

The coat tree has a long history and dates back to the Victorian era, when people would showcase their social position and exhibit their wealth by hanging the latest style of coats and hats in the front hallway.

 

The coat tree has come back into style — not so much to show off your style, but because it’s very practical and helpful.

 

The first thing people do when they enter your home is look for a place to hang their coats, scarves, and hats. Instead of taking coats and piling them all in a big heap on someone’s bed, a coat tree will keep coats hanging separately and organized. It will also make it easier for guests to retrieve their belongings as they leave.

 

This year, Smitty’s is excited to have coat trees in our showroom. Made from solid metal, this coat tree is stylish and sturdy and a great addition to your entryway.

 

Candle Holders

Candle holders made from metal

Candles are making a big comeback. The natural glow that candles provide will add warmth to any room in your home.

 

This year’s trend is to mix and match candles and candle holders. While you may wish to keep the colour or metal the same when candle holders are grouped together, mixing different sizes and shapes will create dynamic focal points on your dining table, console tables/side tables, and mantles.

 

If you have draperies, children, or pets, you may wish to consider getting battery operated candles for your votives and candle holders. There are some battery operated candles that are very realistic and will safely shine in your home, without the worry of anything catching fire.

 

Throw Cushions

Living room with throw cushions on a couch

Adding pops of design and colour throughout your home is definitely on-trend this season. Throw cushions are an easy way to accomplish this trend.

 

Throw cushions will add comfort and a touch of fun to your living room, den, bedrooms, and even dining room — for added whimsy, you could have a different throw cushion for each guest at your table.

 

When hosting guests for an overnight, adorning the guest bedroom with colourful throw pillows is a detail that will surely make them smile.

 

Available in a variety of fabrics, you can mix and match colours, designs, and textures.


Come and visit Smitty’s to find all the final touches you need for your holiday decor.

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Woman sitting on leather couch enjoys stress free holidays

How is it December already? I have so much to do! I have so much to plan! How am I going to get everything done in time?

 

Does this sound familiar to you?

 

The holiday season is a fun time for many people. It’s a time to get together with friends and family, share some laughs, enjoy some tasty food, and make memories. For others, it’s a time of worry and stress.

 

The team at Smitty’s understands this seasonal stress and how it can make you feel anxious, exhausted, and worried. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your stress during the holidays:

 

Don’t worry about everything being perfect.

  • There’s no such thing as perfection. Trying to make your home look like a high-end magazine and your food look like it’s from a Michelin star restaurant is not reasonable. Your family and your guests will love being together, and that’s what’s most important.

Ask for help.

  • It’s okay to ask for help. At this time of year, people often ask what they can do to help, or what they can bring to your home. Don’t be a hero and say, “Oh nothing. Just relax.” Accept an offer of help. People like to feel needed and it will ease your stress.

Take some time to relax.

  • No one can work all day and night. It’s important to take breaks and rest. Spend some time relaxing on your sofa, enjoying a movie or reading a book. Even short periods of rest can make a huge difference to your overall wellness.

Have some fun.

  • It’s a great time of year to enjoy quality time with friends and family. From tobogganing and skiing to playing games inside — whatever you enjoy, make some time to take part in fun activities and build new memories.

The team at Smitty’s wishes you a stress-free holiday and a Happy New Year.

 

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Merry Christmas poster shows some ideas for DIY holiday decor in CanadaGet into the holiday spirit this year with some DIY holiday decor! These fun projects will help turn your home into a festive space for entertaining and celebrating the holiday season.

 

Lighted Burlap Garland

 

Want something fun and different than your regular holiday string lights? Try your hand at this festive burlap garland, with lights included! The three colours of burlap will add festive cheer to your home while the lights will bring some ambience to your home. The best part is that it’s fully customizable, so you can choose the colours that fit with your holiday decor theme!

 

“Let It Snow” Woodland Sign

 

Beckon the snow for a white Christmas with this stunning woodland sign. It’s perfect for hanging on your front porch or atop your fireplace mantel, and will take you through the holidays and into the later winter months. You can hand write your own sign or use a stencil, and you can choose a different phrase to suit your style!

 

Popsicle Stick Snowflakes

 

This simple and fun DIY is something you can do with the whole family! With a little bit of spray paint in the colours of your choice, you can easily turn simple popsicles into beautiful snowflakes to hang on your walls.

 

DIY Christmas Wreath

 

Wreaths are so quintessential for the holiday season, so try out this beautiful DIY Christmas wreath that is sure to stand out from the rest. This version is on the larger scale, so feel free to scale it down to fit on your front door!

 

Pine Cone Bow Ornament

 

These pine cone bow ornaments are equal parts rustic and elegant! They’re super easy and look great on any tree, no matter what your decor style!

 

DIY Pallet Christmas Tree

 

Build yourself an extra Christmas tree out of a simple wooden pallet. Simply use a saw to cut the pallet into a triangular shape, then decorate with paint, ribbons or whatever other crafts you want to use! Check out what others have done by clicking the link above — or watch for these trees outside of Smitty's in Kitchener!

 

 

Evergreen Candles

 

These candle holders are so cozy and elegant - they’re the perfect addition to any centerpiece or mantel! The evergreen pieces are on the outside of the candle holder, so you won’t have to worry about potential fire hazards.


Check out our Pinterest page to see more decorating ideas from Smitty’s Fine Furniture in Kitchener and Hanover!

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Examples of Christmas Crafts in the Smity's Fine Furniture Seminar in KitchenerNeed to spruce up your house for Christmas? If you’re feeling crafty (or looking to stick to your budget), come on down to our Christmas Crafts workshop!

 

What: In-Store Seminar - Christmas Crafts

Where: 170 Gateway Park Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

When: Tuesday, December 13th from 2pm-3pm & from 6pm - 7pm

 

Our next In-Store Seminar will help you create some fun Christmas crafts for the home! Supplies and direction will be provided by the Smitty’s team. This seminar and the workshop materials are our gift to you!

 

This year, every participant will leave with their very own Christmas-Themed Table Runner. These are great for adding a personal touch to your dining room — or keeping the table clean during those long Christmas dinners with the family!

 

Feel free to come with Christmas decorating questions for our interior decorators! They love helping out with ideas and suggestions for the holiday season :)


Sign up for our event on Facebook for reminders & updates on the seminar!

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Family eats Christmas dinner around a dining room table from Smitty's Fine Furniture in Kitchener

It’s hard to believe, but the winter holidays are almost here! It’s a time for celebrating the season with friends and family - and inevitably having a house full of guests. If you’re hosting company this holiday season, it’s important to make sure everyone is comfortable and feels at home, which means having the right furniture.

 

Sofabeds

 

Sofabeds are a great space-saving option for smaller houses - or if your house is bursting at the seams with guests! Sofabeds are sofas by day and beds by night, making it easy and convenient to turn your basement or living room into a temporary bedroom for someone.  

 

Having a sofabed also allows you to keep your common areas tidy and maintain their number one use. The bed can be tucked away quickly and easily, so you can get your living room back to normal for having a holiday party or sitting down to watch your favourite holiday movie.

 

Accent Chairs

 

With a house full of guests, it’s important that you have ample seating to accommodate everyone. If your sofa just isn’t going to be enough this year, consider adding a beautiful accent chair to your living room, basement or TV room.

 

Accent chairs are easy to place in a corner wherever you have some extra space. Plus, they look great and add even more style to your home.

 

Dining Sets

 

Whether you have a house full of guests or just a couple of close family members visiting you this holiday season, a dining set really sets the tone for your big holiday dinner. And no matter what the size and shape of your dining room, there’s a dining set for your needs! From square to rectangular to circular, compact tables to extendable tables, farmhouse style or modern, it’s never been easier to shop for the perfect dining table for your home.

 

Recliners

 

After those big holiday meals, chances are your guests might want to take a nap! Keep them comfortable with a recliner. We carry a wide range of recliners in different shapes, styles, materials and colours to fit your space. They’re also great for watching your favourite Christmas movie!


At Smitty’s Fine Furniture in Kitchener and Hanover, we carry the top Canadian-made brands of sofabeds, recliners, accent chairs and dining sets like Palliser, Simmons and Decor-Rest, so you know you’re getting the highest quality products.

 

Check out our selection online or come into one of our store locations today!

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The entire staff have been working tirelessly around the clock to decorate and show you the latest decorating trends not only in furniture but also with our festive season. You will see bright peacock colours of blue, purple and lime green mixing together. Trees that are overstuffed with large scale decorations.


    

 
The room decorations are grouped together the same way
 we would group a collection to give that updated and contemporary look
 to our traditional Christmas season.

 

  
 

  Sparkle and bright colours are every where you look. 

 
    

 

Drop in and get some fresh ideas that you can bring to your own home.

 

 

 

Come and celebrate the holiday season with us. Steal the inspiration that our Interior Decorators have done so well for you to take home with you.


 

For more festive decorating ideas

visit us on Pinterest

 


 

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